|Word Count: 1,212
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.
Listening is a skill. We often think of listening as being the same as hearing, but it’s not. Hearing is one of the five senses that involves the ear. Whereas, listening is the conscious processing of all types of sounds and input – which could include speaking, music, noise, etc. — received by the ears during communication. We can hear something and not listen. Most any parent has experienced this firsthand when they give their child instructions, and the child clearly hears the instructions but cannot follow them because he was not listening. Continue reading
|Word Count: 1,617
Estimated Read Time: 6 1/2 min.
Every company claims to offer superior customer service, or some such assertion. Excellent service is touted so often as a distinguishing feature in marketing and promotional materials that it really has little meaning. When companies with the worst record for service talk about their ‘commitment to service’, that’s when it’s sadly obvious that the term ‘great service’ has lost all meaning. Think Comcast Cable, a company that consistently tops the list of worst service providers year after year and did so again in 2017 Think Wells Fargo, also on the worst service list, who was caught creating millions of fake customer accounts last year. Actual great service – service that goes above and beyond and consistently makes customers happy – is rare and can, therefore, really be the ultimate differentiator in business. That kind of service is about going beyond the basics. It is about helping customers to not just connect with a company, but actually invest themselves in the brand. Continue reading
|Word Count: 1,510
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.
Bill Gates once said that “The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead.” The truth is that finding the right people to fill job openings has never been easy, but he was right that it has gotten harder. With the unemployment rate holding at 4.1% nationwide — which is at the lowest level since 2000 and before that the lowest level since 1970 — it is getting harder (and may get even harder still thanks to stimulus from the tax overhaul) to find employees without throwing huge salaries and loads of benefits at the problem. And finding highly-skilled, educated and experienced talent is even harder.
Sometimes, the challenge is finding people with the education, experience and skills to fill a high-level job. Think of a CTO for a blockchain currency company. Other times, the challenge lies in finding people with a combination of skills and experience that is hard to find in one person. Think of a CMO for a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that raises capital for real estate and is expanding into Latin America. Still other times, the job may require a very deep level of knowledge in a niche area that few possess. Think of a Chief Hardware Design Engineer for the Avionics department at SpaceX. Or the job may be in very high demand and it may be hard to find someone who wants to leave an existing job to take a job with a less well-known company or one that isn’t offering as high a salary or benefits. Think of programmers in Silicon Valley or Investment Bankers in Manhattan. It can even be hard to fill customary positions — such as customer service, accounting, tech support, and sales — if a company simply has a lot of vacancies to fill because it is growing. Given the today’s job market, what should hiring managers do today to find talent? Here are some ideas. Continue reading
|Word Count: 1,191
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.
Just whose job is customer service anyway? Most companies have a Customer Service Department that handles questions and complaints from customers. These employees are usually individuals who are skilled at handling customer complaints and knowledgeable in how to best answer questions. These are typically people who have ‘a way with people’. They are empathetic, good listeners and excellent problem solvers. The best customer service people have a calm demeanor, are likeable and genuinely care about the people they are helping. Continue reading
|Word Count: 1,714
Estimated Read Time: 7 min.
Grit in Action, Part 1
Practically every major business news outlet has written or broadcast an article or show in the last few years about grit. New York Times. Entrepreneur. Inc. Fast Company. Fortune. Business Insider. Wired. Forbes. NPR. Psychology Today. Slate. Washington Post. Ted Talk. American Radio Works. Success. PBS. Why is this topic getting so much media attention? While there has never been a shortage of books and theories about what it takes to succeed, the current focus is on grit because it is not only an essential ingredient for success, but a top predictor of success too. And doesn’t everyone want to know if they have what it takes to succeed? Continue reading
|Word Count: 1,436
Estimated Read Time: 5 1/2 min.
The relentless pace of change is accelerating. Just keeping up with technology, systems, processes, laws, regulations and trends can be positively draining for corporations. Every time we blink, some other aspect of business has evolved and requires updating. With the arrival of 2018, companies big and small are reviewing, revisiting and restructuring their legal and operational organizations to maximize the financial and tax benefits. There is so much that will need to be overhauled in just those areas alone. It is easy to overlook sales and marketing when everything else needs attention, but that would be a mistake. Continue reading